Shinya Aoki put a grappling clinic on Satoru Kitaoka at this weekend’s DREAM New Year’s Eve show, making his friend bleed and dominating him through the course of their bout. Impressing many with his new striking prowess from his training at Evolve MMA, Aoki’s harshest clinic has been himself.
“I am grateful for the win, but I am not satisfied because I did not finish the fight,” Aoki told MMA Weekly. “My coaches thought that I would be able to submit or KO him. My style of fighting is to finish my opponents. I don’t like decision victories. However, Kitaoka is a very tough opponent. He is my good friend and training partner for many, many years. I trained very hard for this fight and I tried to use new things.”
In regards to their relationship outside of the ring, Aoki is hopeful of his friend realizing it was just business and nothing personal. “I hope that our friendship will return back to normal. We practically grew up together. Only time will tell, but the victory was bittersweet for me. I wish that this part of our history becomes history. Kitaoka is a great guy and a great fighter.”
Aoki plans on taking place in a One FC event later this year, as his plans on working with Bellator to fight Eddie Alvarez have seemingly fallen through, courtesy of an upset from Michael Chandler.